I am new: Interferon Treatment vs. Entecavir????
by ambiance3021, Jan 10, 2010
I am 26 yrs old and contracted HBV vertically.  I am new to this site, but am due to start the pegylated interferon alfa-2a treatment (Pegasys) this Friday and am terrified of the side effects.  This treatment is usually used to treat HCV, but I have chosen it over the antiviral pills b/c of the lack of risk of viral tolerance and the dangers connected to skipping doses or quitting an antiviral pill treatment.

As I have read the forums related to HBV, I have not seen any posts regarding others who have chosen to go on this Pegasys treatment as I have.  I was wondering if any of you could please respond to my post in regards of whether or not you were ever offered Pegasys (interferon), and if you were offered, how you decided on the treatment option that you did.

I am a 3rd year full-time student doing a double major in Biology and Radiation Therapy.  Can anyone out there provide me with your personal experiences on Pegasys and whether or not you were able to continue with a busy schedule?  Am I being too optimistic to continue with even a 15 credit hr load?
Related Discussions
Member Comments (40)
by stef2011, Jan 11, 2010

the choice is good and if you cannot stand sides you can stop it, what is your hbv state and your hbsag titter?

my sister and my mother tried interferon 10-20 years ago and sides were very very heavy (especially mental disorders), but i also met young people with no sides at all. you have more chances to lose hbsag with this txso if you can go for it
i started with entecavir because i cannot stand interferon for my job and don't know the level of fibrosis if f2 or f4 because i had a very alt flare, i count to switch on combo as trial results from entecavir-tenofovir sides are available (results oct 2010/end of trial 2012)
by April63, Jan 11, 2010
Hello Ambiance. I've been reading this forum,because my husband has a chronic HBV. He's 46 now and has started Viread about 4-5 months ago. He was not offered Interferon, but he wouldn't accepted it, anyways. It's just him. He rather takes a pill once a day,without the side effects,than goes on Interferon therapy for 11 months. That's just his personal choice. But you're a young person and I don't think going on antivirals for, most likely, the rest of your life would be a good decision. But I'm not a doctor and don't now your VL or ALT,AST,HbeAg  status and other results. Have you had a genotyping done? I have read somewhere that genotyping might have an effect on Interferon treatment. Genotypes A,B,C with high ALT and low viral load react well to Interferon treatment,where genotype D -doesn't.
Ambiance, 3 months ago I have finished 48 weeks of Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin therapy for my HCV (PEG/RBV). I consider myself doing quite well on that therapy. I've encounter some "bumps" here and there but nothing major. That was just me. Everybody reacts differently and you won't now about your reaction until you start.:) If the side effects will be unbearable,you can always stop. Please educate yourself about all possible side effects and make sure your close ones are aware of it too. You might need their physical and emotional support. I hope I don't scare you,I just want you to be prepared. That's all. Wishing you good luck with the treatment and getting rid of the virus FOREVER!:)
P.s. My husband's response after 3 month of Viread treatment is: UND.:)
by Fahim1982, Jan 12, 2010
Hi ambiance,

I took Pegasys from January to June of 2009 in 24 shots. I'm 27 years old and have had, until now, no notable sideeffects. Exceptions are two instances, one after the first shot and other week before the last shot. But I could easily carry on with my normal life.

Also, my gasterenterologist advised me that interferon is the most up-to-date and effective thing available in our country.

Wish you all the best.
by ambiance3021, Jan 12, 2010
Hey everyone!

I just started my treatment this evening...It's been about an hour and a half and it seems that I don't have any symptoms thus far.

Thanks so much for all your responses :)  I am very nervous about this, and my poor husband did a weak job of trying to talk me out of it as I was administering my first injection.  I will update tomorrow.  Thanks again.
by burialincline555, Jan 20, 2010
I tried alfa-interferon for four months to treat hep-B, and my thyroid profile test became abnormal, so I had to discontinue the treatment.  My viral load was too high, it went from 300,000,000 copies to 50,000,000 copies, at the time I stopped using it. Some people tolerate it very well, and have no side effects. The advantage to interferon is seroconversion, and there is some evidence that it reduces the risk of carcinoma, even if it doesn't clear the virus.  
by ManchesterWonder, May 09, 2010
Hi ambience,

I am also a student at university studying an intensive course and am due to start my Pegasys treatment for Hep B in a few weeks.

How has it been for you? Have you managed the side effects (if any) and your studies?

by stef2011, May 09, 2010

check my posts about vienna congress, now it is possible to know if you will benefit from interferon or not in 24weeks from hbsag/hbdna quantity

the pros of trying interferon are hbsag lower that 1500iu/ml because you have chances of hbsag seroconversion, so they just monitor hbsag and hbvdna drop in the first 12-24 weeks and if there is no responce you can stop it

the cons, high hbsag and high hbvdna load are not suppressed by interferon and sides depend on age and are different from person to person.

i will be starting it in 2-4 months, i have started with entecavir but i went to the research center who made these studies and since my hbsag is only 300iu/ml they will put me on interferon/entecavir combo or interferon mono.at the moment i am on etv+alinia combo

see all posts about interferon/alinia/tdf/etv, there are pros and cons but antivirals have almost 0% rates of seroconversion and life thrapy so i will choose them as a last chance

i think there aren't a lot of posts about interferon because of the high cost of interferon and the high income for pharma companies from life antiviral therapy, so in US the market is all for antivirals
it is the contrary in europe, the drugs are free and interferon is the first choice and if it fails antivirals are the second option
by Toollady, Jun 04, 2010
Hi there I hope it goes as well for you as did for me today. I have been on treatment for HepC for 6 months and 1 week. My doctor told me today I am as good as cured. I take treatment until July 1. Then that is it. I go back every 6 months for the next 4 years. After 5 weeks I was undectable. And I was Gentoype 1 that hardest one to treat.

I have only missed 3 days of work in all these months. I hope you do as well as I did.

Tool Lady
by stef2011, Jun 05, 2010

if you talk about hcv the results are very different from hbv although sides are the same

the good is now we can see if inf works on hbv in 12 weeks only but when it works hbv eradication is only in 11% nd gets to 30% in 5-10years